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### Exclusive Interview with Graduate School Dean Kenneth Wong

During the Virtual Face to Face with President Bruce Jarrell on March 1, Kenneth Wong, PhD, the vice provost for Graduate Education and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), shared his vision for the future of the institution. Wong emphasized the distinction between training, which prepares individuals for the known, and education, which equips them for the unknown.

With a focus on fostering critical thinking, adaptability, and resilience among students, Wong is dedicated to preparing Graduate School students to address the intricate challenges of the contemporary workforce. The Graduate School, nestled in the vibrant academic community of UMB, serves as a hub for aspiring scholars, researchers, and professionals striving to make a significant impact on society.

Wong, who has led the Graduate School for six months, highlighted the University’s unique landscape, leveraging its professional schools in various disciplines such as medicine, nursing, law, dentistry, pharmacy, and social work to cultivate leaders in health research and the social sciences.

Looking ahead, Wong envisions the Graduate School as a dynamic and innovative space that offers new programs and unwavering support to students across diverse fields within the university. He stressed the importance of adapting education to meet the evolving needs of the workforce, emphasizing collaboration with other UMB schools to foster intentionally transdisciplinary communities.

Furthermore, Wong underscored the significance of preparing students for non-academic career paths, acknowledging the need to broaden the scope of doctoral education to align with the reality of diverse professional opportunities. He highlighted the value of engaging with corporate partners to provide students with practical experiences and real-world challenges, enhancing their readiness for the workforce.

In the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and education, Wong discussed the ongoing dialogue among faculty at UMB regarding the integration of AI tools. While recognizing the potential benefits of AI in enhancing learning experiences, he emphasized the importance of upholding scholarly integrity and meeting academic expectations, particularly in written assessments common in graduate education.

Addressing questions on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within the Graduate School, Wong emphasized the institution’s commitment to fostering a culture of equity and inclusion. He highlighted initiatives focused on EDI leadership, aiming to create a feedback loop for continuous improvement and address historical disparities.

Reflecting on his interactions with the UMB community, Wong expressed the value of engaging with students and attending various campus events to understand the University’s culture better. He emphasized the importance of mentorship, family support, and personal resilience in propelling students toward success in their academic and professional endeavors.

As Wong looks to the future, he remains dedicated to supporting students in their academic journey and aims to continue amplifying their voices and stories within the Graduate School community.

To view the complete Face to Face program, please click on the video link at the top of this page.